If you bought a luxury vehicle this year and are weary of car thieves, fear not—the scrappy Honda parked next to you is in much more danger of being taken.
The National Insurance Crime Bureau has named the 1994 Honda Accord the car most stolen in the US in the past year—and it’s the fourth consecutive year this make and model has topped the list. Even more surprising is the number two slot goes to the 1998 Honda Civic.
[wpp range=weekly stats_comments=0 order_by=views limit=5 cat=65 header=’Most Popular Auto Stories’ sc=true wpp_start=<ol> wpp_end=</ol>]
In fact, the top 10 most stolen cars come from car makers like Dodge, Nissan, Chevrolet, Toyota, Acura and Honda. Not exactly the Corvette and Bentley’s you were expecting?
Here’s the deal: Car makers have gotten so savvy when it comes to key code technology, that thieves have an easier time stealing earlier models from the 1990s and early 2000s. They can also repurpose the car parts from these cars more readily than expensive models.
According to Hot Wheels, a company which collects data about vehicles reported stolen to law enforcement, thefts in 2011 fell 3.3 percent from 2010, the lowest point since 1967.
That’s good news, but with the holiday season quickly approaching (when vehicle reported thefts reach their peak), it’s important to be vigilant now more than ever. Regardless of the time of year though, it’s always a good idea to practice car safety. Never leave your car parked in an empty parking lot over night or in an isolated area. Thieves don’t like witnesses, and they’re much more likely to go after cars left in abandoned areas or parked in poor lighting.
New Year’s Day is one of the most popular holidays for car thefts, followed by Halloween, Memorial Day, and Labor Day (as reported to law enforcement). Surprisingly, Christmas Day has the fewest car thefts of any holiday. Still, this is no reason to be off your guard. Never leave valuables visible in your car, like phones, GPS devices, money (even coins) or gifts at any time of year. Why chance it? Our cars are one of the most valuable things we own. Yes, even our scrappy Hondas.